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The Wonders of Water

How Much Is Enough? continued...

Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% comes from food. Assuming these percentages are accurate for most of us, the recommended amount of beverages, including water, would be approximately 9 cups for women and 12.5 cups for men.

While 20% may seem like a lot of fluid to get from food, many common food items are mostly water. Here are some foods with high water content, according to the American Dietetic Association:

Percentage Water
Lettuce (1½ cup)
Watermelon (1½ cup)
Broccoli (1½ cup)
Grapefruit (1½ cup)
Milk (1 cup)
Orange juice (3/4 cup)
Carrot (1½ cup)
Yogurt (1 cup)
Apple (one medium)

When You Need More

Physical activity, heat, and humidity can increase our fluid needs. In these situations, keep water bottles close at hand and drink frequently to avoid dehydration. If you're going to be physically active for long periods, consider sports drinks that hydrate and provide easily usable sugar and electrolytes.

Illnesses accompanied by increased body temperature, excessive perspiration, vomiting, frequent urination, or diarrhea can also increase our fluid needs. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids if you have one of these conditions, and see a doctor if your fluid losses are excessive or prolonged.

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